Troubleshooting Ping, in over my head
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 17

This is a discussion on Troubleshooting Ping, in over my head within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I have reached the point where I fear that I may seriously damage my car and I would greatly appreciate ...

  1. #1
    Admiral Ackbar mycologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Late Devonian
    Posts
    12,420
    I Support ClubWRX

    Troubleshooting Ping, in over my head

    I have reached the point where I fear that I may seriously damage my car and I would greatly appreciate the help of the many people on here I know understand this system much better than I. I will provide a fair amount of detail on the situation as this is a rather complicated problem, and my extensive searching has led to a huge number of possibilities. If your in a hurry just skip to the numbered points and I will fill in the blanks.

    Problem: Transitional (1-3 shakes of the ping can) audible pings at 3500RPM, becoming more frequent.

    History: 2003 wrx, 40K original owner miles, regular services all completed on schedule. 93 octane for 3 months then downgraded to only 91 octane available in KS for 2 years, occasional ambiguously audible pings. Spoke to dealer but they just said yeah, that is detonation. Lots of 15 minute trips. Moved to NC, complete 30K service at dealer, 93 octane gas. No pings. 3500 feet elevation, very steep grades and long descents. Flash Cobb stage 1 93 octane last fall, no pings until a warm snap in January. Suspect bad gas, start shopping around. Can't find good gas here, get audible pings on unpredictable and infrequent occasions. Seems like every time I get good gas off the mountain no pings (still in NC but chevron or sunoco instead of BP or Exxon). Just enough to make me decide to flash to 91 octane map, but went for stage II instead.

    Installed uppipe (coated) and catted DP, stock turbo heat shield, flashed 93octane Cobb stage II map. Pings under heavy load, somewhat sporadic. Flash 91 stage II map, running 93 octane, cleaned temperature bulb but not MAF (one speck of dust on bulb, MAF spotless; stock air filters all the way) and reset ECU. One 2-3 shakes of the can ping under load when heat soaked, takes a pretty solid run with extended uphill 2nd & 3rd gear push.

    Change PCV, no excessive oil in intercooler (no drips just a smudge when inverted for 60 minutes. Return condenser pipes along intercooler have droplet at end, small build up at throttle body hose, throttle body looks fairly clean. Go in search of Sunoco one county away, closed when I get there & mom & pop store, so I fill with exxon and add synpower injector cleaner. Ten miles of downhill from there, engine breaking in 4th for extended periods, then get moderate uphill ping, & pings on level (not heat soaked). Ping now consistent, not going away.

    Purchase air filter, spark plugs, install 104 octane booster from store. Thats where she sits.

    Results from searches:

    1)Cobb map is conservative, runs rich. Should be trusted.
    or (take your pick on the thread)
    Cobb map is actually leaner than stock - never heard of anyone running Cali 91 map on 93 octane, but is a possibility.



    2) PCV valve - should be changed every 15K miles, or never (take your pick). Mine was fine.

    2.a) Oil catch can - not done.

    3) Turbo oil seals shot - seems not. No oil in downpipe, not much in intercooler

    4) Engine deposits - can cause preignition as well, or increase compression and otherwise cause spark knock (at issue here). Finishing 1st tank with synpower cleaner.

    5) Spark plugs - do show signs of detonation (metal balls stuck to ceter electrode). Plugs replaced with OEM gapped to .028 (yesterday, not tested hard yet).

    6) Blow by - oil in intake, reduces octane. Check compression.

    7) Elevation - Colorado people say 91 octane = 93 octane there, should be a safeguard
    or
    Need higher octane at high elevation (web auto professionals and occasional threads)

    8) Boost - peaks at 15.8 settles at 15 then tapers. Compensation map in ECU reduces peak boost by 1 PSI per ~3500' IIRC, so normal stage II numbers.

    9) Vacuum issues (haven't figured out how to check system yet).

    10) Injectors plugged, tired, or imbalanced (40K miles, always top tier gas, never cleaned). Unlikely - all four cylinders are affected.

    11) MAF or Temp sensor problem.

    12) Dealer - go parade my just installed stage II setup and void my warranty on a totally unabused motor with a potentially bad ring land. Get unheard of and unreported "ping" reflash that was never mentioned when I was there complaining about ping.

    13) Knock Sensor? Don't know how to test that.

    14) Head gasket??? I guess I should add this because I have had to burp the coolant a few times recently. I had a small coolant leak from a line a while back but it was supposedly corrected/pressure tested at the dealer. The system was then flushed at 30K (dealer) and there has never been any indication of overheating.

    OK, so without throwing on a huge number of guages and replacing every bolt on part of my car, how should I proceed? I don't want to just get it tuned at boxer4racing and have an underlying problem even if it solves the issue. I don't want to leave anything on the table if I go to that expense, and I don't want an issue later. I could remove the green bracket of death and send the injectors out. I could do seafoam, or auto RX or whatever that stuff is. As of now my warranty should be intact if I remove my stage II setup I just installed.

    PLEASE PLEASE give me some advise!!
    Last edited by mycologist; 05-22-2007 at 05:23 AM. Reason: updated

  2. Remove Advertisements
    ClubWRX.net
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Admiral Ackbar mycologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Late Devonian
    Posts
    12,420
    I Support ClubWRX
    Anyone have any input that might help me narrow this down?

    I'm Currently running the injector cleaner (2/3rds tank left) and octane booster with 93 octane exxon, and it still pings on the regular 91 octane map!

    The air filter was pretty dirty, but it didn't help obviously.

  4. #3
    Registered User SubyPsycho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    546
    I'd start with plugs. It's possible that one of your plugs is fouled and that's the cylinder that's pinging. If the plug is really bad, the computer won't be able to compensate fully. Plugs are relatively inexpensive compared to some other options, so it's a good place to start.

    Make sure you get plugs that are the same heat range as the oe plugs. You want to try to keep everything as consistent as possible. Otherwise, you're chasing a ghost. I would go as far as insisting that you get oe replacements.

    If you have a shop do it for you, ask for the original plugs that came out of your car. Take a look at them, and see if any one of them has more build up, has a broken electrode, etc. I've seen some really nasty plugs come out of engines.

    That's my $.02.

  5. #4
    Admiral Ackbar mycologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Late Devonian
    Posts
    12,420
    I Support ClubWRX
    Thanks, I have some OE plugs here. Sounds like a pretty good place to start.

    Anyone else wanna help with the triage?

  6. #5
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    CA, US
    Posts
    21,883
    I Support ClubWRX
    If only there was a way to get log data. I'll second the plugs idea. You should theoretically be able to run the CA 91 map, though I don't know what effect elevation would have actually. The plugs ought to be good for 60K but at this point it's worth checking. Also check the connections to the packs.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

  7. #6
    Registered User wrx wagone's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Phillytown, PA
    Posts
    10,773
    I would also replace the plugs. The only other thing is maybe the knock sensor is bad. I don't know why the CEL wouldn't be on, but weirder things have happened.

    Maybe see how much that piece is?
    This message printed on 100% recycled electrons.

  8. #7
    Admiral Ackbar mycologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Late Devonian
    Posts
    12,420
    I Support ClubWRX
    Thanks, I'll check the packs and see about the knock sensor too. Any way to check if the packs themselves are working properly? I think I'll give the plugs a shot myself tomorrow.

    Would it help a bunch if I got the tactrix cable and did a log? What about a dyno pull with a wideband?

  9. #8
    Admiral Ackbar mycologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Late Devonian
    Posts
    12,420
    I Support ClubWRX
    Update - I had the plugs changed. They were somewhat worn but not in that bad of shape. I guess it is pretty hard to tell when platinum plugs wear out though. Fairly consistent in appearance and the mechanic thought they looked normal. No sign of heavy knock like broken insulators etc.

    However - Upon inspection with the dissecting scope, there are clearly little balls of metal stuck to the center electrodes (all of them). One electrode is somewhat decomposed as well. I will get a good picture of these this afternoon so everyone can see the carnage of eroding my piston tops.

    So, I guess I'm going to run one more bottle of the detergent with some octane booster and take it easy until I finish that next tank and change the oil. Then I don't know what to do, or even how to confirm whether the problem is improving.

  10. #9
    Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    26,582
    I Support ClubWRX
    You need to take some logs, and/or look into a custom tune.

  11. #10
    Admiral Ackbar mycologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Late Devonian
    Posts
    12,420
    I Support ClubWRX
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex View Post
    You need to take some logs, and/or look into a custom tune.
    Thanks for chiming in Andrew,

    Should I do a second tank of the fuel system cleaner + octane booster, or just run it down and fill up with 93 now to do the logs?

    I am up for a custom tune as well but I am wondering if they will likely be able to isolate the underlying reason why my car is so unhappy with the OTS maps, or if they will just tune over it.

  12. #11
    Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    26,582
    I Support ClubWRX
    Quote Originally Posted by mycologist View Post
    Thanks for chiming in Andrew,

    Should I do a second tank of the fuel system cleaner + octane booster, or just run it down and fill up with 93 now to do the logs?

    I am up for a custom tune as well but I am wondering if they will likely be able to isolate the underlying reason why my car is so unhappy with the OTS maps, or if they will just tune over it.
    I've seen cars reject the OTS maps before. IIRC, Shotgun was having the same problem years back.

    If you are going to run logs, run whatever fuel you plan on running in the future.

  13. #12
    Admiral Ackbar mycologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Late Devonian
    Posts
    12,420
    I Support ClubWRX
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex View Post
    I've seen cars reject the OTS maps before. IIRC, Shotgun was having the same problem years back.

    If you are going to run logs, run whatever fuel you plan on running in the future.
    Yeah, I ran into his threads as well and have seen a few others.

    I couldn't bear waiting to clear the tank out, so these logs are with 93 octane gas with engine cleaner and octane booster added. I'm Running the Cali gas 91 octane map and I didn't want to push it too hard.

    I am just starting to learn about logging so I don't know exactly what I should record - anyone please let me know if something else would be more useful or if there is too much clutter.

    So, if anyone would be so kind as to look these over, are there any glaring problem here? I'm a total n00b at this but I'll try to be a quick study.

    Short gradual 3rd gear pull, slightly uphill, IAM climbs from 12 to 16:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Picture1.gif 
Views:	143 
Size:	31.1 KB 
ID:	72166

    Uphill pull in fourth, high load, IAM drops from 16 to 12
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Picture2.gif 
Views:	142 
Size:	33.3 KB 
ID:	72167

    Uphill in second, IAM is already back up to 15 just a few miles since #2
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Picture3.gif 
Views:	141 
Size:	19.8 KB 
ID:	72168
    Last edited by mycologist; 05-23-2007 at 08:15 AM.

  14. #13
    Admiral Ackbar mycologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Late Devonian
    Posts
    12,420
    I Support ClubWRX
    Morning bump.

    Anyone that is good at reading logs I would really appreciate some help here. I would like to do some more logs today with my normal gas but I need some advise.

    1) What should I log to best isolate this problem?

    2) The second log above I believe shows a detonation event - is there anything I can learn from that log?

    3) Is there any indication that I should park the car immediately?

  15. #14
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    11,098
    I Support ClubWRX
    Now that you have logs might want to PM Testes and see if he can take a look. Or I'd post over on enginitys board and have them take a peak. Good luck.
    0-60 faster then your first sexual experience.
    "You've come far, and though you're far from the end
    You don't mind where you are, cause you know where you've been"

  16. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    3,733
    Replied to your PM....
    1988 Celica Alltrac
    Hallman Pro, 15x7.5 +20mm Rota Slipstreams
    2005 LGT 315whp/340wtq@21psi - Sold
    VF52, Crucial P&P&C Manifolds, UP, DP, RP, Magnaflow CBE, Hallman PRO, ROMRaider
    2003 WRX 371whp/355wtq@24psi - Sold
    TD05H-20G-38mm Tial, Meth Injection, Hyperflow TMIC, ROMRaider
    Dyno Chart METH vs 93 oct

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •